Grayson Allen was a controversial pick for the Utah Jazz. Although, that’s probably not surprising because seemingly everything that has to do with Grayson Allen is controversial.
When Allen first came to the Jazz and played in Summer League there were some things Allen showed that were surprising and a little disappointing.
According to multiple reports Allen had done well with the shooting drills in his pre-draft workouts with the Jazz. While he did show flashes with his shooting, Allen never consistently knocked down shots his rookie season.
Now, that may be a byproduct of not getting consistent minutes (inn total he only played 416 for the year) and by the end of the season he was starting to consistently hit his shots. Is he ready for a sophomore
What Allen showed that was surprising was a legit ability to pass the ball and create for teammates. Allen is a better passer than you think and, if he can improve, could become a legitimate backup point guard in the league. Considering his decent size and athleticism that would be a great outcome for the Grizzlies to find a rotation guy in their trade with Utah.
The other thing that Allen does better than expected is rebound the ball. Allen had a knack for the ball and there were a few games where he would fight for boards and get them.
And that’s the other thing. Allen plays with ferocity on the court. Sometimes it’s too much and he gets out of control. Multiple times Allen would come into the game and immediately pick up fouls, some of them bad ones that would kill momentum or create points for the opposing team. For Allen to succeed he’ll have to learn to focus that ferocity in the right ways. If he can, he has a chance to really shine. But for someone who’s instinct is to give everything he has at all times, it will be tough.
Don’t forget about Grayson Allens 40 point scoring outburst to end the season when the Utah Jazz played the Los Angeles Clippers. That was his second straight night of scoring a career high in points. When he catches fire from long range, look out. The problem with him is his consistency.
You’ll get a bulldug on defense, but only for part of the shot clock. Toward the end of the year, though, he had pulled it together and could stay in the defensive scheme without getting beat. Grayson’s hurdle to getting regular minutes was playing consistent defense. Once he did that, he saw minutes at the end of the season.
Grizzlies fans will most likely be pleasantly surprised by Allen. The underwhelming numbers from his rookie season don’t tell the whole story. At the very least he’ll be a player worth investing in over the next few years because his physical tools are legitimate and his competitiveness is as strong as anyone's. He may even turn into a nice compliment to Ja Morant if everything goes well.